Again, another day where I don’t want to write about the articles appearing in my timeline and Google Alerts. The only thing about beer news today I could wrangle any feeling for were articles about the Adolphus Busch commercial. To that, I will say truth is the greatest protest possible.
All that matters is the liquid in the glass. I have fallen in love with that sentence over the past few months. I stole from someone. Unfortunately, I can’t remember who.
It’s a great sentence and it is the essence of what I think craft beer is about. It strips away the marketing and the buzz that surrounds so much beer today. Too many people buy too much beer simply because of the name of the brewery. Some breweries could put out a beer that tastes like urine and it would fly off the shelves of bottle shops around the country. I know, I see it every day. There are a few breweries beers we buy simply because we know they will sell regardless of the quality of the beer.
Too often, in all parts of lives, we get distracted. In craft beer, we get distracted by the search for the next hot style. We get distracted by who is “selling out” to whom. We get distracted by who has the longest lines at festivals. We get distracted by all these things that surround what goes in the glass that we forget that what is in the glass is the whole point.
I’ve met brewers who are nice who make bad beer and brewers who are raging ass holes who make great beer. I’ve also met brewers who are great people who make wonderful beer and brewers who are jerks who make crap beer. That is why it is important not to let things like the brewer’s personality distract you from the beer.
It is often true for consumers to buy something we have to buy into that something’s story. When someone makes the choice to drink craft beer they are buying into craft beer culture and the story that it tells about beer and more importantly about themselves. However, sometimes we let those stories distract us from the liquid in the glass.
Maybe that is what has happened the last two days. Maybe I’m just tired of having to pay attention to all the stuff. All the stuff about big beer and their distributors. All the stuff about stupid legislation and beer laws. All the stuff about who is being sold to whom. That stuff matters, we have just elevated all of it to a point of obscuring the thing we fell in love with in the first place: the liquid in the glass.
All the stories that we fell in love with to make us craft beer drinkers don’t matter if what we’re drinking is crap. Then all we’ve done is replace the crappy beer of the 70s and 80s with the crappy beer of the 2010’s.